Essential Vancouver: 9 Places to See if You Only Have 4 Hours

Vancouver is my favourite city in Canada, and I wouldn't think twice to move there if I had one million dollars to afford to buy a mode...

Vancouver is my favourite city in Canada, and I wouldn't think twice to move there if I had one million dollars to afford to buy a modest townhouse somewhere in one of Vancouver's suburbs. I like Vancouver, because it's pretty, livable, green, usually warm, located next to the ocean and mountains, and full of great people. But since I don't have one million dollars, I can only come to Vancouver as a visitor. If you're like me or just want to see this lovely city, look no further than this article where I've shared my own itinerary with 9 must-see places that can be easily explored in 4 hours by foot or bicycle. 

1. Robson Square in Downtown Vancouver. 
This large vibrant square is located right in the heart of Vancouver. Historical buildings, lots of green space and the art gallery - you can find them all at Robson Square. As a bonus, an ice rink is open during the short and mostly wet winter. By the way, I took those pictures at the end of November. How do you like the greenery in Vancouver?
Not at Robson Square though (a few blocks away), but still green.
But greenery comes at a price - it's raining a lot in Vancouver. Look at the picture below: a grocery store offers free umbrella bags to keep the floor dry.
Robson square is so great and appealing that people are tempted to stay overnight. Municipality even warns that no camping is allowed in the square's green space. No kidding - the court is just next door.

2. Granville Street in Downtown Vancouver. 
Granville Street offers lots of entertainment, shopping and dining options. 
It may seem a bit sketchy close to Davie Street, but as you walk / bike towards the waterfront, expensive restaurants replace cheap  and dirty fast foods.

3. BC Place Stadium. 
BC Place Stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2010. I'm not a big sports fan, but this stadium is heavily used by soccer, rugby and football teams. 
The area around BC Place is being redeveloped and has a lot of construction going on, mostly condominiums.
Green vehicles and their 'gas station'.

4. False Creek and Telus World of Science. 
False Creek is a bay that separates downtown Vancouver from the rest of the city. 
Apparently False Creek is also a popular camping destination for those who cannot afford to buy or rent a property in Vancouver.
Trans Am Totem by Marcus Bowcott has been installed in 2015 as part of Vancouver Biennale, an open-air museum of contemporary art in Canada.
Another piece of art, not as sophisticated as Trans Am Totem.

5. Chinatown. 
Vancouver has the largest Chinatown in Canada. It's no wonder as Chinese is the second most spoken language in the city.
It looks run-down a little bit, partially because of a declined interest from the Chinese community that mostly moved to Richmond, BC. 
But you can still find authentic and inexpensive Chinese restaurants and stores. And, as usual, Chinatown is the best place to buy souvenirs.
I particularly liked Dr-Sun Yat-Sen Park - such a beautiful and secluded place!

6. Gastown. 
"Gastown was Vancouver's first downtown core and is named for "Gassy" Jack Deighton, a Yorkshire seaman, steamboat captain and barkeep who arrived in 1867 to open the area's first saloon" (could not resist but use the quote from Wikipedia). 
Founding father of Gastown - Gassy Jack Deighton.
Vancouver is a city of campers. Another "campground" at Gastown. Seems that homeless people from all over Canada came to Vancouver to beat the winter cold.
Famous Gastown Steam Clock (picture taken in September 2015) located at Cambie and Water Streets is a popular tourist attraction.

7. Waterfront. 
Vancouver has a stunning waterfront that offers unparalleled views of the north side of Vancouver Harbour and surrounding mountains.
The main landmark on the waterfront is Canada Place which is a home to Vancouver Convention Centre, cruise ship terminal and Pan Pacific Vancouver hotel.
Beautiful Olympic Cauldron has lived at the Vancouver Convention Centre West building since 2010.
Vancouver is preparing its Christmas Market.
The pedestrian- and bike-friendly waterfront takes you all the way down to Stanley Park.
A monument in Coal Harbour commemorating the Komagata Maru incident when BC officials didn't allow 352 passengers, mostly Sikh, to disembark in Vancouver in 1914 based on the race. The ship had to return to India where most of passengers were imprisoned and 19 of them killed by British regime. Any parallels with the Trump's travel ban?

8. Stanley Park. 
It's hard to believe that there is a large urban park with old trees in the middle of Vancouver. Its name is Stanley Park.
It's about 25% bigger than Central Park in New York, but works the same way - Stanley Park is the lungs of Vancouver.
The park has a lot of paths and trails to explore. Some of those I've seen look pretty wild.
Stanley Park also offers great views of Downtown Vancouver and mountains north of the city.
Don't miss out the First Nations art and totem poles at the eastern tip of Stanley Park.
The collection of totem poles started in 1920s and today consists of 9 poles.

9. English Bay Beach. 
English Bay Beach is the favourite place for swimming and sunbathing among Vancouverites.
But it's also the best place to watch sunsets. Logs like benches in a theatre were brought for people to enjoy this spectacular show.
You can tell that the climate is very mild by palm trees that grow here year around.
Cherry blossom in November?
Inuksuk overlooking English Bay.

I've included the map with my itinerary below.

Additional Information
For additional information visit Vancouver Tourism's official website.

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